5 July 2002

Imperial sells dairy herd

DAIRY cows will finish milking at Imperial College at Wye later this year when the college sells its herd.

The decision to move out of dairying was made for commercial and research reasons, said Jeff Waage, the establishments head of department. "It is due to shifting research and strategic priorities. Also there has been a drop in income from dairying."

Rumours that the sale follows Wyes former head of dairying and vice-principal David Leavers recent decision to take the principality at Royal Agriculture College from Aug 1, were dismissed by Prof Waage.

Although the 150 head black-and-white herd had been run largely on commercial lines it had also been used for research. Prof Waage added that a squeeze on dairy-related projects had contributed to the sale.

The herd is mostly split between spring and autumn calving, and yields average between 7000 and 7500 litres, from a diet consisting of 1.8t concentrate a head a year. Details of the sale have yet to be finalised. &#42